Collin's memorial service went very well. Everything went as planned, the music was beautiful, the sermon was nice, the balloon release was what I had hoped for. I've never had to plan such a thing... you never expect to have to be the parent at a child's service. It was an odd feeling. I felt like all eyes were on me the whole day... I saw so many concerned smiles, got so many heartfelt hugs. It was almost as if everyone was almost waiting for me to break down, wondering how I could possibly go on. My son was the reason I could be ok... I feel like I need to make him proud of his Mommy. My family as well... I know they are all worried about me, especially my mom and sister... if I can show them that I'm kind of ok, then maybe they can not worry as much.
The service started with a slide show that my sister made for Collin. It was just a power point slide show with different quotes, quotes that have helped me so much the last few weeks. We made bookmarks for people to take, and the different quotes were on these as well. I love the background on the power point slides... clouds in the sky with rays of sun shining through, so fitting. We played songs that I love and think about Collin when I hear them. The pastor opened us up in prayer, then Jenn sang Homesick, by MercyMe, while David played the piano. It was beautiful. It's such an amazing song, I found myself singing along with the chorus in between my tears. David then read a poem I picked for Collin. Dan read some scriptures he helped me pick out prior to the service. I had so many we could have used, but we were able to narrow it down to 3. Pastor Jon then spoke, his sermon was based on comfort, and the fact that with God, everything does happen for a reason. We may question why, but nothing happens without reason. My Aunt Lynda read a letter I had written to Collin, the letter that had taken me so long to get right. I could hear so many people crying during it being read, I myself was almost bawling. I actually got a lot of compliments on the letter after the service, I suppose it turned out ok afterall. We all sang Amazing Grace together, which was pretty difficult after the letter being read, but it worked out just fine. Pastor Jon then led a closing prayer, and we were to go outside to release the balloons. At the end of the service no one really stood up... I was trying to compose myself when I realized that everyone seemed to be waiting for me to walk out first. I was able to get it together, and walk out of the chapel standing tall, trying to stay strong to make my son proud. Everyone followed after and we all met in front of the chapel.
Prior to the service, we had let people know they could write on a balloon to be released. The idea being that we were sending Collin letters up to Heaven. I had made sure my balloon was written on before many people got there, so I had time to write what I wanted to without being rushed. I glanced at a couple of the balloons while we were waiting for everyone to be ready, and some of the notes were so touching.
After everyone was outside and ready, Pastor Jon counted to 3, and everyone let the balloons go. It was neat to watch all the balloons go up into the sky. Immediately afterwards my sister found me to give me a hug, I think she knew I needed it. It was a very emotional moment, thinking Collin would feel all the love that everyone released up to him. It's amazing to think that someone, who never was able to take a breath on this Earth, was able to touch so many people. I cannot be prouder of that fact, my son was able to make an impact on many lives besides my own.
I got so many hungs after the service. It was almost over whelming. I think I cried when just about every person hugged me. When it cleared out a little bit, I went into the chapel to get my tissue that I had forgotten to bring out with me. While walking back into the empty chapel I almost lost it. I think it just hit me, seeing Collin's pictures in the front of the chapel, and being alone with those pictures and memories. I felt my legs get weak, I just wanted to fall onto the floor and cry my eyes out. I managed to make it back to my seat where I had left my purse, and I just sobbed. I had let out a few whimpers between the flowing tears before, and during the actual service. This was my time to just cry it all out. I didn't care who heard me, I didn't care who saw my shoulders heavy with grief, I just cried and cried. Sitting there alone with my sons pictures was just too much to handle. He was so beautiful, so perfect, so wanted, so loved. The pastor came up to me to let me know if I needed anything, he would be there for me. That was nice of him. And a friend from high school / old church days came and sat with me. It was nice to have that time with her as well, just alone talking about Collin, and how much things have changed the last 10 years or so. I regained myself, and went back outside to let everyone know I was ok and we could meet up with everyone else in the Fireside room.
Afterwards we went to another part of the church and people were able to hang out and eat if they wanted. It was really nice to be able to take everything in and see everyone I love. It was mainly family, and friends close enough that I consider my family as well. I'm so thankful that the church was able to provide us with not only the chapel, but the other room to have a place to relax and talk afterwards.
Before the service my sister approached me to let me know we had a special visitor. The nurse I had the day I gave birth to Collin was there. Stacy was the nurse that touched me the most during my hospital stay. I was there longer than usual, so I had quite a few nurses, and Stacy was by far my favorite. She was so kind and caring. I'll go into more details about her later when I write about my hospital experience. It was so wonderful to see her, I just wish we had met for a different reason.
I'll write more soon... it's difficult to write so much at once. These days I have so much going on in my heart and mind...